About Living Large
I founded Living Large on the belief that a meaningful life is one that’s focused on the pursuit of excellence.
Excellence isn’t about being better than other people. It’s about being better than you were yesterday.
Living Large focuses primarily on education and career, but it touches broadly on leading a principles-centered life.
Thank you for being a part of this community. Together, let’s live large, not just in our student lives and in our careers, but in every other aspect too.
When I first started Living Large, I wrote this “About Daniel” section in the third person. I’ve since decided that it sounds weird that way, not to mention that it also seemed like I was trying to brag about myself in a subtle yet not-so-subtle way.
So here’s the first-person version.
I’m a learning and personal development enthusiast—some people have gone so far as to call me an expert in those areas. I’ve done a lot of talks and workshops at companies and educational institutions in countries like Singapore, Indonesia and the United States. I’m also a certified youth counselor.
I’m passionate about anything related to maximizing your education, career and life.
Here’s the backstory.
As an 18-year-old, I had achieved a lot of success. I was a top student from primary school all the way through junior college (that’s the equivalent of elementary school through high school); I was the vice-captain of the basketball team; I was on the Chemistry Olympiad training team; I had racked up a whole bunch of awards and accolades; I had received a full academic scholarship to study at Duke University in the US. But I suddenly became aware that these accomplishments didn’t bring me the fulfillment I was looking for, because they weren’t motivated by the right purpose.
Through an intense process of reflection, and a daily commitment to learn and grow, I’ve gone through a journey of understanding some of the keys to leading a meaningful and significant life. Of course, I know I have a long way more to go.
My journey thus far has led me to pursue the following life mission:
To empower others with the mindset and methods to lead a meaningful and marvelous life.
That’s the reason I started Living Large.
I especially enjoy working with students and young adults to help them avoid the mistakes that I made in the blind pursuit of success, while simultaneously empowering them to run their own race, rather than the race that other people expect them to run.
I’ve had the privilege of speaking to thousands of people on topics such as goal-setting, personal effectiveness, civic engagement, educational philosophy, and developing a personal vision for your life. My writing has been featured on The Huffington Post, Yahoo!, TODAY newspaper and Work Life magazine, among others. I had the opportunity to give a TEDx talk at Duke University entitled Realistic Idealism: Seeing People as People and a TEDxYouth talk entitled People: Sweet Dreams Are Made of This.
My bestselling book, The Happy Student: 5 Steps to Academic Fulfillment and Success, was published by Morgan James Publishing. I have an Asian edition of the book that’s also been translated into Bahasa Indonesia. I’m also the co-author of the e-book, Singapore Scholarship Guide: The $500,000 Decision.
In 2013, I was surprised and honored to be awarded the JCI Singapore – Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) Merit Award.
I studied Mechanical Engineering and Economics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. I reside in Singapore, and I’m also a member of the Global Speakers Federation and the Asia Professional Speakers – Singapore (APSS) association. I’m married to a wonderful wife named Michele, and we have our first child on the way.
Enjoy your time checking out the articles on Living Large!
As featured on:
Here’s what people have been saying:
“The best thing about the seminar was Daniel’s enthusiasm and solid sense of the content. He really seemed to know what he was talking about, and he was able to communicate effectively.” - Anita Petit-Homme, pre-medical student
“Not ‘I have to’ or ‘I should’, but ‘I choose to’ is the main thrust of Daniel’s message, which I think aptly applies to Singaporean students today who are so preoccupied with grades and instant success that the fundamental purpose of education is sometimes lost on them. Education really is a desire and a privilege, not an obligation or a chore. Daniel personifies the ideal student who does it out of passion rather than out of obsession or obligation. Life as a student would be more meaningful if we are happy doing what we are doing. This applies later on in our future career, too.” - Ng Soo Kok, teacher at Innova Junior College
“Daniel is truly an inspirational speaker. My students are all so keen to learn from him about how to be a happy student and, at the same time, do well for their ‘A’ levels. Thank you so much for motivating my students.”- Claire Wong, Junior College mathematics teacher
“A natural skeptic, I only attended Daniel’s talk to support a friend. I was quickly won over by his humble, entertaining and most importantly, non-smarmy approach. His story and presentation appeals to his targeted demographic of 15-25 year-olds; these are young people who need the reminder that a sense of self should not be defined by external markers of success. Daniel gave the young people present practical advice and encouragement to work toward worthy goals that are aligned with one’s values.” - Chris, editor
“A very endearing and insightful talk. It is not everyday that one gets to listen to such pearls of wisdom.” - Aruj Shukla, Financial Controller, The Page Turners’ Society, Nanyang Technological University
“It was indeed a fun experience listening to a young, enthusiastic person like Daniel Wong. I was pleased to know that in spite of working a full-time job, he values his interest in writing so much that he has been able to publish his own book. His book seems to be quite appealing to youth and I am sure it will be a delight to read!” - Ashima Khanna, Nanyang Technological University student
“An extremely inspirational talk! Daniel Wong offers great perspective and insights to students looking for guidance and motivation in finding their true passion in life.” - Mehak Nagpal, President, The Page Turners’ Society, Nanyang Technological University
“The talk was extremely inspiring. I believe it was beneficial not just for me, but for many others, too. On behalf of all Serangoon Junior College students, thank you for the helpful tips, advice and positive sharings you provided us today. You are an extremely good speaker who is both clear and interesting to listen to. I wish you greater success in the future writing more books that cater to the needs of students or perhaps even more people!” - Shinhow, Serangoon Junior College student
“Daniel was an inspiring speaker who captured the hearts of the students. He shared useful studying tips, and he challenged students to break through their barriers and step out of their comfort zone to achieve their dreams!” - Esther Foo, Teacher and Subject Head / Pastoral Care, Serangoon Junior College
“Daniel’s talk inspired both young and old alike. While parents came to a realization that they could play an active and supporting role in the lives of their children, students were also encouraged as they came to understand that not all of us need to be a straight-A student. Daniel reminded us that we have a choice—we need to ask ourselves why we do what we do. Once we have a purpose for doing something, we will be happy and contented with the end result. We do not need to be forced into a mould as dictated by society.” - Joy Seah, Manager, Life BookRoom
“You’re one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard! It was a motivational talk, and it wasn’t clichéd at all.” - Wanhui, National Junior College Intergrated Programme, Secondary 2 student
“The talk was relevant. Daniel spoke about things that students today experience, and he really captured our attention.” - Rui Ting, National Junior College Intergrated Programme, Secondary 2 student
“Daniel, you rock!” - Crystal, National Junior College Intergrated Programme, Secondary 2 student
“The talk was engaging and entertaining. The content was very relevant. Daniel really connected with the students.” - Xinhao, Victoria Junior College student
“This is the first talk where all the students stayed awake!” - Cindy, Victoria Junior College student